Skip to main content

Evidence Post: Where to Next with Growth Mindset and Resiliency?

Over the past two years, Maple Lane’s School Story has focused on Social/Emotional learning in the area of growth mindset. Our goal has been to foster resiliency in our students and to equip them to persevere in the face of adversity. Students have been learning how to use self-talk when facing and overcoming challenges. This year, we will continue with this focus and plan to move into specific subject areas. This year, an inquiry group has been formed to focus on resiliency and flexible thinking in the area of numeracy.

FSA results from 2022/23 school year show that Maple Lane students have performed well in numeracy, with the vast majority of grade 4 and 7 students being either On Track or Extending according to the assessment. However, teachers have reported for some time that many students have strong Math skills and yet do not always apply their skills to real world situations.

We recently engaged in class reviews with our resource team and classroom teachers. From anecdotal teacher reports, one theme that presented itself was that many students who were reasonably strong with computation skills found it challenging to apply flexible approaches to problem solving and to communicate their mathematical thinking. Moreover, many teachers were reporting that a significant number of students were hesitant to take risks with their learning in Math and could even show anxiety around approaching math problems in novel ways.

Our next step is to survey students about their experiences with Math to see if the anecdotal reports of teachers are supported by data we receive from students. Questions of particular interest to the inquiry group are:

  • What is Math?
  • Do you enjoy Math? (Why or why not?)
  • What do you do when you face a challenge in Math?

Our goal is for our students to be engaged in Math problems and concepts, while showing flexible thinking and an ability to communicate their understanding in a variety of ways.

In the classroom, this may look like:

  • Students sticking with problems and concepts longer (without getting discouraged).
  • Students speaking positively about their Math skills and showing an understanding that learning new concepts takes time.
  • Students using trial and error when solving Math problems.
  • Students applying what they have learned to real world situations.
  • Students discussing Math problems with each other and understanding that Math can be a collaborate process.
  • Students being comfortable with incorrect or incomplete answers.
Updated: Sunday, November 5, 2023